Feeling good

It’s been two weeks since I finally got in to see a doc and start on antidepressants. And for three days now I am back to the me I remember, the me that sees good, the me that wants to sing Disney songs just because. All by myself.

I can keep up the appearance when I’m around people, but alone it’s been practically impossible.

Now I can again!

I would like to think I can get back to normal without these soon, but for right now, I like feeling happy. 

I’ve been clouding over since 2009 but now I see the sky again.

Thank you thank you thank you

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Posted by on April 11, 2014 in Uncategorized


American Education vs. Asian Education

I repeatedly discover that one of the major problems with the current Educational system in America is that it is trying to model itself after a system that is culturally incompatible, which system is trying to mold itself into the American system that is trying to follow it …….  and both systems are trying to create an education that gives a little, withholds a lot, and punishes the educators.


I’m not a fan.

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Posted by on February 19, 2014 in Uncategorized


Taiwan Winters and I have not made friends yet.

I have spent the majority of this winter sick.  Yes, full blown, stupid sick.  I had back to back to back colds.  I’ve lost my voice three times now.  I’ve had 2 rounds of ear infections, now three.  I’m pretty sure the natural shape of my nose has been permanently altered with all the sniffling I’ve had to deal with.

What have I learned?  I’m still trying to figure that out really…..

Last week started out with a migraine (graciously, the first in 5 months!) that a quick trip to the ER and a shot took care of fairly quickly, thank goodness!!

This week I was able to truly embody the saying that “If you’re going to do something, do it well!”  So I got sick really well.  I was starting to feel it Monday, but by Tuesday morning my ears felt like they were being forcibly widened and elongated by use of no less than 8 sets of chopsticks shoved into each ear.  My throat had been stuffed with golf ball sized bags of glass shards and my lungs had been given the once, or twice, over with a blow torch.

I couldn’t yawn, swallow, breathe, eat, swallow, think, breathe, yawn or think without pain.  Once I went to get out of bed to get dressed, I realized that even my skin hurt.  Seriously, my skin felt every slight movement of air, and sent pain signals shooting through me.  Pressure, therefore, clothing hurt, but no clothing hurt just as much.  My joints hurt.

I stood for a second, barely haven gotten dressed, thinking about how I was going to get to the doctor……

And then it happened.

Yup.  The worst thing that could possibly happen at that exact moment.

The overwhelming need to vomit could not be held down.  I expected to see blood. I was sure that my insides had just been ripped and shredded and sent back through the glass shards and between the chopsticks.

There wasn’t any blood, but I wasn’t waiting for anything else to show up before I got to a doctor.  Thankfully, that one time was the only time I wretched through all this.  Somehow the rest of my body sent the message to my stomach to shut the frack up this time.

I went to school, I calmly explained, and asked my head teacher to please write it all down in Chinese for me and then walked to the hospital.

Where I was told, “You have an acute double ear infection, and acute double tonsillitis, bronchitis, and influenza”.

Well.  There it is.  If I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it well!!

The doctor explained that they were sending off a surgery consult for my tonsils and that I needed to go through all the little hoops to get my out-patient medicine along with my shots.

Off I went.

Back I came and the nurse administered two shots.  One for pain, one anti-biotic.  If you have ever been anywhere near me and needles when we are in the same skin……. well you know that having to get three shots in 6 days does not make me a happy girl.

The surgeon came in and who knows what was really said, but my some-what English speaking doctor told me to go home, but to go see the ENT guy next door to keep an eye on it.

He did not keep an eye on it.  He kept a suction tube stuffed relentlessly, painfully, and remorselessly in my tonsils.  I do not like him.

As a sat gripping the chairs’ arms like a recently found, long lost lover, that was leaving again; while a long 3cm wide metal device was shoved down the back of my throat in order to keep my’gag reflex’ down (which it did not btw), and a suction tube was repeatedly inserted into my tonsils, I couldn’t help but think, ‘If the devices they can concoct here for making people feel better are like this…I’m not sure I ever want to find out the kind of devices they can concoct for torture.’  No squirming moved him, no gagging stopped him.  Hmph.

He and his little side chuckle while he tells me, “Don’t work so hard, haha”.  Asshole.

But slowly, ever so slowly, I am recovering.  Thanks more in part to those lovely WESTERN things called anti-biotics.  Today, Friday, my throat merely feels as though I went to a UNM game with a close score and it’s within the final count to the end of the game.  Raw, sore, and overwhelmed.   I can deal with this.

Only 8 more days until vacation.  Please, please, please, pretty please, with every favorite condiment on top please, keep me healthy the rest of winter!!! Please.

I do not want to be hospitalized here…..

One lady in the ER just holding a bird that was pooping all over her IV, nbd.

One lady in the ER just holding a bird that was pooping all over her IV, nbd.


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41 things to do before you’re 41

First a little rant

There’s been a lot of craze about the 23 things to do except get married blog.  I have mixed feelings.

I started college after my children were older.  I have seen the countless girls that go to college to find a husband, with their degree being a secondary consideration, (though they will say and possibly believe otherwise).  There are astounding social boundaries put around these young high school and college girls to marry right away.

I think the blog was written with a need to break free, by someone trying to let loose of boundaries that are far more commonplace than we’d like to acknowledge.

That’s fair.

I also think it was written with a little too much severity towards those that choose to get married earlier in life rather than later.  It’s true you shouldn’t do it just because it’s the norm, just because there’s pressure in the ideal that you’re only whole when you’re with someone. 

That does NOT mean that there is an age boundary in which to or not to get married exists.  Marriage should be about love, commitment, and hope.  

I know lots of women that have married at a young age and have been happily married for decades.  I know young women now that truly have found someone special and perfect for them and they are happy.  They didn’t choose to get married because of societal pressures.  And that’s also fair.

My list will not include marriage at all, because hopefully along the way, each of us will find that someone, and whether or not it’s our choice to create a (joyous) legally binding contract with them, is a matter of personal taste.

And Now for My List

And so, at 41, this list includes things I wish I had done, things I have done and hope that everyone does, and things that just belong on the list.

1)   Stop worrying about what others say or do.  

If you can end each day able to say you did your best with what you knew and what you had, then nothing anybody says or does changes that.  It’s none of your business, even if they are trying to make your business their business, it’s their enterprise in futility unless you engage.  So don’t.

2)   Find a hobby.

Or three.  Do something on a regular basis that just makes your soul sing.  I love to make art.  I don’t do it nearly enough.  But when I do, it’s like something else takes over me and I sit back and enjoy watching my soul dance to the song that plays in the background.  Find that something and do it, often.

3)    Grow a plant.

There is one kind of plant that will grow for you.  As a general brown thumb I know there are also lots of plants that won’t grow, but keep looking until you find that one that has the same rhythm as you, then talk to it every day.  Yep, it’s ok if you look stupid talking to your plant.  It will do you both good, so do it any way.

4)    Travel.

A)   It doesn’t have to be around the world.  I never realized until I started travelling out of the US, how few Americans travel within our country!  Or how many people I’ve met who have done little to no travelling inside their own countries!  Yes, it’s completely, totally, amazingly awesome to see other countries, but don’t let it stop you from seeing your own.   America is really a whole lot of little countries.  I’ve been to all 49 Continental states, and I can tell you from experience that no region is like another other than national pride stuff.

B)   Go to as many countries as you can.  When they say life changing, they are not kidding.  Do it.  Go somewhere at least once.  It’s worth the sacrifices to get there.

5)    Do something so outside of your comfort zone that the people you know and love would never believe it was you except you brought photographic evidence.

Take one giant leap out of your imposed boundaries.  And take pictures of all of it.  Then, try something else too.  Why stop at once?

6)    Believe in yourself.  Love yourself.

  • If even for just one day, every single time you hear those self-doubts creeping in – push them back and stand tall.  Believe in you.  It’s always amazing to me to find out how many people believe in me, but yet I still find it hard to believe in myself.  But I’m starting to.  And so should you.
  • Love yourself.  I feel as though this should have happened long before 41, so put this high on your list.  Look at and learn from, then let go of the negatives in your past.  Be who you are today with the understanding that it is what it is at this point.  Let yourself relish in all you’ve overcome and accomplished to be who you are today and then love yourself.

7)    Be a self promoter.

Maybe not the pushy lobbyist type, but when you talk to yourself or to others, talk about your good points.  Leave your bad points out of general conversation.  Accept compliments graciously and give them freely.  Don’t talk bad about others because it makes you look bad.  Self-promote your positivity and positive will float back to you.

8)    Don’t hunt for your special someone.

It really is true that love comes along when you least expect it.  So stop looking, wishing, waiting etc.  Just live your great life and one day BAM.  My BAM hasn’t happened yet, and I’m 41.  But I’m not out there with my love harpoon; I’m just living my life. I have shared and learned about love along the way.  And I am learning to love me.

(*if you already have a special someone, you can hunt for them.  Hunt for their dinner, hunt for their socks, or make them dress up and then hunt them down, that’s ok)

9)    Complete a 30 day challenge.

It doesn’t matter what your choice of challenge is, but complete a full 30 day, every day, challenge that pushes you out of your comfortable zone.  It doesn’t have to push you out of your comfort zone, but at least your comfortable zone.  Ie, reading a poem everyday isn’t out of my comfort zone, but it’s not something I’m used to so it would be out of my comfortable zone, whereas making my bed every morning is well within my comfort and comfortable zone, I just don’t always do it.  Be courageous, pull up your gumption, exercise your will power for 30 days.  Then see how much easier it can be to take on the little tasks of life!

10)    Go to college.

You don’t have to take on a full degree program if you can’t afford it, but take a class every year.  Even if it’s a how to fix stuff around your house class.  Keep learning and interacting with other learners.  It’s important. Just do it.

11)    Read Les Miserables.

Don’t just watch the movies or see the musical; read the book.  It will change your life, you will be amazed.  Yes, the first 200 pages are kind of long and slow, and will make you want to abandon the mission.  But I promise it’s a worthwhile understanding of the characters as they transition into the rest of the story.  Even if it takes you a year to read it.  Read it.

12)   Learn how to ride a scooter, motorbike, motorcycle, etc.

It’s so cool.  It’s fun.  It’s energy efficient.  It’s fun.  And it will help you empathize and be more aware of cyclists on the road.  Did I mention a cool and fun it is??

13)   Be involved in a child’s life for at least one school year.

School is tough.  Give your time to help a child or children get through a school year the most successful they can be.  The reward is priceless.

14)   Get to know a teacher.

If you are not a teacher, get to know one.   Be their friend, listen to their stories.  I would personally suggest not having this be your child’s teacher if you are a parent.  But get to know a teacher and see all that is involved.  Appreciate everything that teachers put into teaching.

15)   Dance.

Just do it.  It doesn’t matter if you’re good or have rhythm, just get out on a dance floor and dance.  If you’re a guy, I sincerely promise that a girl will not care about the moves as much as she will appreciate that you got out there and danced with her.  If you’re a girl, think less, feel more and just dance.

16)   Know how money works. 

Understand what it is and how credit works for and against you.  Figure out how to live within your means.  Appreciate the work involved in making money, and how it depreciates as soon as something is purchased.  Be wise in your purchases.  Understand money.

17)    Wear color.

Put a splash of color in your outfits.  Be bold, love it.  Wear a crazy color and don’t give a rat’s ass what anybody thinks.  You’ll be surprised at how many compliments you get.

18)   Walk around naked. 

I was in my thirties before I felt comfortable walking around naked outside of my bathroom.  I’m not necessarily saying become a nudist, do that if you want to, but be comfortable in your skin.  If you have to make sure all your curtains are closed first, do that, but take command of your home commando style.  It is liberating. 

19)   Make a collaborative art piece.  

Find some people willing to sit down for an hour and take turns putting something new into the piece.  Let each of your own creative inspirations fall onto the same place and see what comes out.  It’s a magical experience.

20) Learn how to do basic car maintenance.

It’s not just a car guy thing, it’s a driver thing.  Know your vehicle, what it sounds like, what it feels like when it’s running well so that you  know when it’s not.  Know how to check your oil and what different colors mean.  Learn where all the basic engine parts are, what they are, and what they do.  Learn how to change a tire, a spark plug and when it needs to go to a mechanic.

21)   Play lots of board and card games.

They’re FUN.  Have fun, play for fun, enjoy the time with the people you play with.  Bring one with you when you travel.  They are great time consumers that keep you interacting with people.  Heck, invite random airport strangers to a game of go fish.

22)   Get to know your neighbors.

Have block parties and bbq’s.  Invite them for dinner or drinks.  My neighbors throughout my life have been such a blessing.  We look out for each other, burglars beware.  Take them a little plate of something and introduce yourself.  We’ve lost a lot of community by not asking for that proverbial cup of sugar.  So go ask for it.

23)   Love the holiday, not the commercialism.

No matter what the holiday is, be about the holiday.  I have spent too much time forgetting about many holidays as I let my bitter emotions get in the way.  Get the stuff you want, when you want, not when the stores dictate.  Give homemade stuff, be with the people, live in the moment of it all.

24)   Be in a theater production.  

Be a tree if that’s all your comfort level can handle, but go be part of a production.  It’s an amazing feeling.  Theater people are amazing people.  Don’t blame me if you start making a habit of it!

25)   Move house at least once.  

It really helps you see how much unnecessary stuff we can accumulate just by being stationary.  At the very, very least, pack up like you were moving and change something in your house.  Make it necessary to box up your life, then make sure you keep what’s necessary, and start sorting through what’s not.

26)  Have an emergency plan and bag.

It may sound crazy but, emergencies by definition rarely have a time frame to prepare for it in.  So be prepared before hand.  How prepared is up to you, a full year of survival food, water, clothing, first aid, etc.;  or a few days worth of basic minimum’s.  Make sure the people you will want to know where they are, know where to look for or find you too.  Nothing makes an emergency more difficult than the fear of not knowing the whereabouts of the people you love.

27)   Climb a tree.

You can hug it once you’re there if you want to, but just find the joy that we used to know and climb a tree.  If you can’t right now, do what it takes to get able to, because it’s just a fun thing to do and you will be so happy.

28)   Make a bucket list.  

Watch the movie, check out The Buried Life guys, and make your own list.  Then look at it every day.  Remind yourself that you have goals so that you can live today in preparation for them.

29)   Kill a mosquito.

Ok this may not sound like the best idea, but it will make me personally really REALLY happy.  Just squash one for me.

30)   Get your face painted.

Just do it, it’s fun, and as an adult you can appreciate how nice a brush feels against your skin in a way you never could as a kid.

31)   Try really hard to learn a new language.

As a still monolingual language learner myself, I am not going to say you have to learn it in order to gain the experience, but try as hard as you can.  It’s so cool to communicate with a stranger in a different language.

32)   Make a silly, just for tonight, bucket list.

I think you can also call it a scavenger hunt or any number of things, but get some friends to help you make a list of some silly things you have to do, get a picture of you doing it, or a signature, or something to show you accomplished it.  IT IS SO MUCH FUN.

33)   Write a blog.

It’s kind of cool to see that people you couldn’t possibly know are reading your thoughts.  Mine started out as a way to keep family and friends, that refused to use facebook, up to date with the happenings of my life.  But it’s become a thing I just do now, just because it feels good to do.  And who knows?  Maybe, you’ll be the next super blogger!

34)   Make your bed first thing every morning.

If the bed is made, even the messiest rooms look better.  And clean rooms look messy if the bed isn’t made.  It gives a sense of accomplishment to the start of the day.  I mean, you’ve barely gotten out of bed and VOILA, instant success.  Who doesn’t want to start their day that way?

35)   Literally laugh out loud.

Don’t hold back, don’t just giggle, laugh.  For that matter, cry out loud, feel peace out loud, be anxious out loud, express yourself.

36)   Have a heart to heart with people at least a decade younger and older than you for the purpose of hearing their story.

Listen, ask questions, be a receiver, a learner.  None of us know any more truth than what we’ve learned, and there is SO MUCH MORE out there to learn!  Take relationship advice from the younger generations as well as the older generations.  Find out about political views and dance moves.  Vast stores of wonderful thought is out there, be open to it.

37)   Participate in an activity that makes you the master of your body.

Join a sports team, start cycling, train for a marathon, learn how to swim, sign up for an amateur body building competition, start a fitness video challenge, but get out there and discover your weaknesses and strengths.  You’ll find you can do so much more than you thought!

38)   Volunteer.

Help those less fortunate, even if you are in unfortunate circumstances yourself.  There is always a way you can help someone, even if you need help.   Trade services with someone, join a soup kitchen for a month, mow your neighbors lawn for no reason, check with a religious institution if there is any need you can fulfill, read aloud at a local childrens’ library or retirement home.  Be a positive force and positivity will find you.

39)   Have someone else wash your hair.

OH MY GOD does it feel good to have your hair washed for you.  It’s most awesome if you’re both in the shower, just saying, but if right now, the best you got is the local hair dresser, well, honey, pay the $10 bucks and ask for a 15 minute shampooing.

40)   Learn about the sky.

The clouds, the moon, the stars, they are our history, our present, and our future all wrapped in one beautiful eyeful.  You can be just as good a predictor of the weather as any TV weather man with very simple knowledge.  It’s amazing to just watch the clouds, but to have enough knowledge about them to truly be wowed by how remarkable they are is a feeling that is indescribable.

41)   Run/ Walk a marathon.

I haven’t done this yet, but I want to.  So, I can’t give a lot of insight, except it seems to be one of the most commonly suggested things by people I’ve asked what they would put on a list like this.

Bonus)   Hug and Kiss the people you love more.

Be affectionate and caring and say you love them.  It’s funny how living abroad everybody does the cheek kissing.  And it’s wonderful how much of a bond you make with people because they are open, hug and kissy friends.  If you’re one of my friends back home, be prepared, I hug and kiss a lot more now and I LOVE it.

There it is, my list of 41 things to do before 41.  I hope you do them all.  Peace and Love to each of you!







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I’m on my first stakeout

I’m on a stakeout.  A real stakeout.   We’re waiting for a rat.  Sadly, a real rat, not a film noir “dirty rat”.  I’m sitting on my kitchen table.  There are glue traps and bait all around on the floor.  Jordan has a pair of scissors, though I’m not really sure what his intentions are for them.

It’s been spotted in several locations now, so I’m unclear if there is more than one.  This is not like the mosquito hunt.  I’m actually freaked out.

But more than that, I’m pissed.  The dirty rat bastard ate my last corn tortillas!!  The last ones!

And so we quietly sit, perched on higher ground (Jordan said it’s the best policy, he’s watched a lot of Game of Thrones) waiting for it to think we’re gone.

We made sure to bring essential stakeout materials; computer, water, peanut butter, tissues, grease, and scissors.

And now

We wait.


A full year in Taiwan

A full year in Taiwan

Happy New Year Everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  


I can hardly believe it’s been a full year in Taiwan!

What an amazing, wonderful roller coaster of a year it’s been.

I’ve traveled most of the country.  I scootered across Taiwan from West to East, through the mountains.  I’ve been to four theme-parks, countless beaches, beautiful mountains, and amazing cities.  I’ve gazed at gorgeous rice fields, palm tree forests, incredible sky scrapers and little huts.  I listened to the melodic sound of the rock beach in Hualien, the monkeys playing in the trees, lots of laughing children, and the wonderful stories of all my new friends.  I have tasted some of the strangest things and some of the greatest things I’ve ever eaten.

I’ve learned to live with,  without,  in spite of,  and during a lot of circumstances I had never expected.

I learned I can do a lot of things I hadn’t thought possible and that some things I just can’t do still.

I began dancing again.  I painted some cool pictures.  I discovered hidden talents, made the most of some known talents, and learned a TON about myself.     I shared travel experiences with two of my children.   I’ve learned a lot about teaching, learning, and school systems.

I’ve gotten pretty good at scootering around.  I’m learning Chinese.

2013 – you were a blast!

Last year I kicked off the New Year at the Taipei 101 bldg, braved the incredible crowds, and rang in 2013 with my Taiwan son, Tim.

That night started a fantastic year for me and I am so excited for what 2014 has to offer!

This year I kicked off the New Year in Hsinchu with so many of the wonderful people I have grown to love AND with one of my favorite people from my time in Prague, Czech Republic!!!

My New Years Resolutions

Resolution Number One

Write.  So much I haven’t written about, so much I haven’t said, so often I didn’t follow through with this blog.  So New Years resolution #1 is to stop caring if what I write has significant meaning, or is too personal, or not personal enough, or has enough pictures, rambles, isn’t funny, happy and upbeat, etc.  Worrying about all those things  kept me from writing and now some of my fantastic memories have faded enough that I’m not sure how to write about them.  I am going to just write and not let myself think about it too much.

Resolution Number Two

Be a non-smoker.  I started smoking again back in April.  So, I am quitting again.  It’s not a healthy habit.  It doesn’t fill the void I’m using it for.  I’m ready to stop.  This may not be as easy as it was last time.  Still….. Here goes.

Resolution Number Three

Get back on track with why I’m teaching abroad.  Start collecting my thoughts in writing and being more assertive with researching the methodologies of the Chinese teachers.  Put it all into a written format so that I can have these thoughts to reflect on as I study/ teach in new places.

     ¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*¨)  EXCITING NEWS     (¨*•.¸(¨*•.¸´•.¸    

After finishing my contract with the Hsinchu Public Schools, at the end of June, I will be heading to Turkey.  


Fingers crossed and all my hopes are for getting a full month, July, back in the states with my children before heading to Turkey.  I have been grateful to see who they are becoming and all the amazing growth they’ve done.  But dang it, I just want to hug them again.

Not everything is pinned down yet, so no solid news.  Just the fact that I’ve decided it’s time for Turkey.

I’ve heard wonderful things about it, and I’m so excited for this next chapter to start.   I want to see the beautiful sights and I can barely contain myself with historical significance.   SO EXCITED.


 - I’m ready for a new and wonderful adventure with you.

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Date a Girl Who Teaches


I like this!! IT’s so true!

Originally posted on Sentiments from the Heart:

This might sound self-serving or even redundant after I posted the entry Date a Girl Who Reads. Nonetheless, I would like to share this entry with you. Enjoy!



Date a girl who teaches children. Date a girl who enjoys more in a bookstore for school supplies and children’s books rather than in make-up store. She has problems with storage space because she has too many trinkets and storybooks to keep. Date a girl who has a list of stories that she wants to have and read, who has a collection of Aklat Adarna, Leo Lionni and Eric Carle’s books.


Find a girl who teaches. You’ll know that she does because she always carries supersized bags. She’s the one who has everything in her tote. From art-project glitter materials to wet wipes. She has to carry her laptop almost everyday and all those papers and booklets that only…

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Posted by on November 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

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